Episode Reviews

Doctor Who – Deep Breath Review

As fans around the world experience their first adventure with the new Doctor, we all ask ourselves, how do we feel about the new Doctor?


If you are listening to the Doctor, you’ll get a resounding “Shush!” from the get go as Moffat takes the ground running with a dazed and confused Doctor trying to make sense of the world and his new body.

One of the biggest motifs of the episode, and probably the whole season, is that the cavalier and wild eyed adventuring of the past is just that, a thing of the past. This series is all about pulling back on the youthful whimsy that often put the Doctor’s friends at grave risk and going though the universe with a sense of wisdom gained from a calmer demeanor thanks to age.

Capaldi’s style and appearance is an obvious homage to the first generations of Doctors, who often carried themselves more as an elder statesman than a young energetic adult. Even a funny nod to the idea of wearing a scarf reminds the viewers that while the show is going back to a more grounded version of the Doctor, it’s not without a bit of whimsy.

The biggest disappointment I felt was the often uneven and confusing pace of the episode. It was heavily modeled after the constant stream of consciousness that Moffat uses in his other series Sherlock but oddly without the refinement. I believe that the shorter length of the episodes relative to Sherlock hinder the ability to expand the exposition and keep it at a pace that viewers can more easily follow.

Thematically, this series is all about rediscovering the Doctor again. The constant question throughout the premiere was “who is the Doctor” and “I don’t know who he is anymore,” and I welcome the chance to learn more about the past and about the mistakes he has made over the last 2000 years. Overall though, I think this is an exciting start to the new series, and I look forward to this new darker and intense Doctor.

Other Observations

  • The Doctor totally leaves Clara behind, twice.
  • A return to Victorian England means Jenny, Strax and Vastra.
  • “Egomaniac Needy Game Player”
  • The SS Marie Antoinette, where the droids originated from, is the sister ship to the Madam De Pompadour (“Girl in the Fireplace”). The very same clockwork droids have an affinity for taking human parts to repair themselves.
  • “You’ve replaced yourself time and time again. You probably don’t even remember where you got that face from.”
  • I don’t know how they did it, but they kept Matt Smith’s camera a secret.
  • The Doctor’s comment about this Scottish eyebrows succeeding is a nod to the upcoming referendum where Scotland will vote to leave the United Kingdom.
  • The Doctor is definitely NOT a boyfriend.
  • The Tardis gets a new look again, which has a bit of a cosy loft meets contemporary space ship feel.
  • New title sequence is loaded with steam-punk.
  • The Doctor comments he’s seen his face before…which he has from “The Fires of Pompeii”

Further Viewing

Doctor Who Season 7, Pt. 1 (Amazon)

Doctor Who, Season 7 Part 2 (Amazon)

Series 7 Part 1

Series 7 Part 2

By Kien Tran

Based in Dallas, Texas, Kien Tran is an avid television enthusiast. After spending hundreds of hours wasting away on a couch, he decided to actually do something creative with his hobby and created this very blog.

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